Rewarding Employees With the Future in Mind

December 15, 2015
| ByMadison

Do you reward behaviors that will help your employees to stay in their role or grow out of it? Are your team members future leaders or managers? Are they getting the rewards conducive to moving them towards that path? Do those rewards also support the growth of your organization?

Rewards and recognition are powerful tools that cannot operate in isolation. They are designed to encourage the behaviors that will take your organization and employees in whichever direction you lead them, but when executed poorly they can actually be discouraging . Using competency frameworks as the basis for your rewards and recognition approach can help to ensure you get the best from your employees.

Is your organization competent?

Competency frameworks set out the skills and behaviors needed by your employees to grow your organization. They create foundations for how it will function and the results it will achieve. The concept of designing competency frameworks is not difficult, but they require specific skills and buy-in from everyone in the organization if they are to work effectively. Development of a competency framework may follow this pattern:

  • Begin by understanding the values of your organization–what do you do now, how do you currently get there, and where do you want to go next? Will those current behaviors and skills take you to the next level?
  • Next, the vision needs to be translated into the behaviors and skills that make it a reality. However, those behaviors and skills need to be measurable, so they are broken down into levels (behavioral indicators). These provide descriptions of behavior that define the levels at which each person is currently operating and where they need to develop. There are usually two to four levels of competence.
  • Once you have the indicators, assessing your employees’ competence using a tailored assessment program helps you to know where your current employees sit and where development is needed.
  • Once you understand the level at which people are performing, you can begin rewarding for the appropriate behaviors to take them to where they need to go. Part of your reward program can also include training to help employees to gain the skills they need to grow their career and your company.

Once you have an organization-wide framework, you can build more specific frameworks that can be used for individual roles or job families.

Benefits of competency frameworks

Competency frameworks can be time consuming to create, but they are worth the time and effort because they have excellent benefits:

  • They help you to identify relevant training needs, company-wide and across specific job families or roles, and they provide consistent measurement of performance across the organization. This helps managers to give constructive feedback to individuals, and employees can use the frameworks for self-assessment of their development.
  • They instill a common language that everyone in the organization understands and can work towards, meaning rewards and recognition are more meaningful and, therefore, increase engagement and retention, and help to improve performance.
  • They can help to identify and fill skills gaps internally and help to recruit the right people into the organization.

Final thoughts

Rewarding or recognizing without planning may still make for happy and engaged employees in the beginning, but it will result in unfocused and frustrated employees who don’t know which direction they are going for the development of the organization or themselves.

The team at Madison can help you to design the reward and recognition program that’s tailored to your organization’s needs. Get in touch to learn more.

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